LEGOpunk Orrery Knows Just The Right Technics

Lego Orrery

Is the unmistakable sound of the shuffling of LEGO pieces being dug through burned into your psyche? Did the catalog of ever more complex Technic pieces send your imagination soaring into the stratosphere and beyond? Judging by the artful contraption in the video below the break, we are fairly certain that [Marian] can relate to these things.

No doubt inspired by classic orreries driven by clockwork, [Marian]’s LEGO Sun-Earth-Moon orrery is instead driven by either hand cranks or by electric motors. The orrery aims to be astronomically correct. To that end, a full revolution of a hand crank produces a full day’s worth of movement.

Solar and lunar eclipses can be demonstrated, along with numerous other principals such as the tilt of the earth, moon phases, tidal locking, and more, which can be found at the project page.

While classical orreries predate the Victorian era, there seems to be an almost inexplicable link between orreries and the Steampunk aesthetic. But [Marian]’s orrery brought the term “LEGOpunk” to mind. Could it be? Given that there are 2305 pieces and 264 pages of instructions with 436 steps, we think so!

We’ve covered just a few orreries in the past, from this somewhat simple laser cut orrery to this horrifically complex and beautiful thing here

6 thoughts on “LEGOpunk Orrery Knows Just The Right Technics

      1. I’d say it’s probably a bit of both. I haven’t played with LEGO for many moons (see what I did there?) but I recall the backlash got significantly worse as the gearset got bigger. Not a big deal in some cases, but in others… bigger deal.

        Now that I think about it, this machine displays the sun, earth, and moon. But I don’t see a planetary gear set. Weird.

      2. Without actually having the whole thing in front of me I’d go with it twisting the Lego axle when it catches slightly (probably could use a counter weight) – they are pretty tough really but they are generally in my experience the weakest link in a Lego gear train – and the more of them in the gear train the more the little twisting starts to add up.

        For a toy really the backlash and gear tolerances in Lego gears are actually quite good… Not sure on those giant round assambly don’t have any, but I’d bet its the subtle straightening to join the sections causing lots of the catching.

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